Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Thursday Club Annual Rummage Sale

In San Diego, there is an organization, The Thursday Club,  that raises money for Balboa Park and other organizations. They hold an annual rummage sale that is a lot of fun to explore.  

This year I came prepared to just look at the fabric and craft area.  I missed the first day so the selection was less, but the prices were all 1/2 off!

I went by myself, so had to leave my pickings at the booth when I searched for the restroom.  When I returned a few of my fabric choices had been taken by others, but I still got a good experience.

Full Prices
A baggy with cut fabric - labeled Christmas Tree (detail photo below). $2
3 small pieces of bright juvenile fabric - .25
2 yards of polka dots - $2
1 bolt of Henry Glass black and grey fabric - $60
8 yards of green flannel - $3
1 yard of white on white (with playing cats in the design) $1
2 fat quarters yellow - 50 cents each
Total $69.25 but it was half off!

This was in the Christmas tree bag.
Last year I spent less, but we spent more.  This time I just focused on the fabric and went by myself.

RSC17: March Red Scraps

I have more scraps to pull and sew, but think I have worked enough on putting together strip pieces for now...  In a few cases I used a larger block of fabric to even the ends of the new fabric.

While I had scraps out I also put together some other color themed fabric - and some that are all mixed up!  (Hmm - I just noticed that pink and mixed up colors will get it's own month later on.)

Red and Pink.


Mostly Orange

Mixed up!  Including an on purpose wavy seam!
Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

WIP: Baby Quilt Based on allpeoplequilt's Purple Play

The daughter of one of our friends just had a baby.  I had promised a baby quilt two months ago.  I found fabrics in my stash that matched the colors the new mom requested (black, grey and if I had to use another color maybe some purple).  I found this quilt on the allpeoplequilt site that really caught my eye.  So I cut the strips but things happened that distracted me from the project, so I'm just now getting into production mode.  (I'm figuring the white will lighten the quilt and not count as a distracting color.)

I made a block and was pleased with the results, although it was awkward to sew each seam as I had to sew each one with the pressing going toward the sewing machine.

The back came out beautifully though, but I thought if I just changed the way the fabric was pressed then my issue with the seam direction and sewing would be fixed.  You see I wanted to start the fabric with the even ends of pieces aligned and that the seams would be sliding away from the machine as the fabric went under the needle, so that is why I had the problem.

Anyway, the next block I pressed the fabric the opposite way from the directions.  It was easy to start with the fabric aligned - BUT when it came to pressing, to keep things consistent, I had to press so the the seams were crossed back over themselves. It was either that or have the seams pressed in different directions...

But now I see that the little design has the ducks also marching in different strange directions - so before finishing the block, I stopped and now will be unsewing so I can sew the block again.

And I will go back to folIowing the directions. 

I really had thought about the block and the sewing and the pressing, but still messed up!

I reminds me of when I was a Girl Scout working on my cooking badge.  My folks left the house while I made my fancy hamburger and chocolate cake with mocha frosting dinner for them.... It was the first time I was alone in the kitchen - and the whole concept of cooking at all was foreign to my experience.

The directions for the mocha frosting said to put a tablespoon of coffee in the frosting.  I thought a tablespoon of coffee wouldn't add that much flavor so they must not have been referring to brewed coffee. I grabbed the instant coffee and looked back at the cookbook - it was old.  I figured they didn't have instant coffee then so I grabbed the regular coffee grounds.  And made the frosting with the crunchy coffee grounds in every bite! 

(Things were so different then.  I think my mom only had two cookbooks - Good Housekeeping Cookbook and the one I was using I think was called the Lighthouse Cookbook. That book really went to the basics of how to butcher animals and how to cook them!  Now of course I could google mocha frosting and get many different recipes to compare and adapt. And even before that I have two cookbooks that are just about making cakes on my shelves now - so many cookbooks in this house now.)

Anyway, when my folks came back they ate the food. I remember my Dad's big smile when he had the cake. Such a nice guy.

My Godsister who is 10 years older than me (and became a home economics teacher) used to like to make mud pies.  I remember she told me how she offered one to my sweet father - and he started to take a bite!  She remembers telling him how it was all pretend and he wasn't supposed to really eat the pies.  He was a nice guy.  

My mom signed my report so I was able to get my cooking badge and that was crossed off for Girl Scouts.  It wasn't until relatively recently though that I really started cooking and enjoying it, so the badge was not the right way to go for that life skill!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Received: Lovely Yellow Fat Quarter from Angie

The mail brought this lovely yellow fat quarter from Angie!

This will be great addition to my projects!  Thank you so much!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Finish #4 QFK Charity: Square Green Quilt

Binding on, this quilt is finished!

I'm very happy with the charity quilt.  I like the free form wavy line quilting, the way the added border looks on the front and the back, the way the corners have the extra line of stitching so it makes a square on the back, the way the binding went on so easily too.

Maybe I'm getting the hang of this!

4th finish for 2017!

Thank you again Angie @ 
Really like the wavy lines for charity quilts!

Friday, February 24, 2017

WIP: QFK Square Quilt Part 2

When I last wrote, I had finished quilting the major parts of the quilt.

I went back and added a wavy line of quilting so the light green inner square had stitching on both sides.

And I added the outer borders to the piece!  This makes it so it's the correct size for Quilts for Kids.

I just placed the border, and stitched it down.  If you remember I was having a ballooning effect so the borders were removed, so when I replaced the borders I did not go by the edge of the quilt, but rather went where the border strip went when it was placed, this meant that I lost a little of the quilt, but not much.  And now the quilt is flat!

I added a line of stitching so on the back it looks like there is a square in the corners of the piece.

As soon as I put the piece on the table to bury the threads, my friend jumped on the quilt to keep me company.
(She is getting almost too comfortable in the sewing room!)

I do not usually pin, but pinning every three inches helped me keep the border so it covered the quilt seam.  (I didn't pin the second seam and after adding the third border saw that there were a few places where the fabric was not joined correctly.  So I removed the stitches and did it correctly.)  The pinning also helped keep the fabric in position under the batting.

I added a line of stitching just in the batting and backing so there is a corner square. Here you see one corner undone.

I added the stitching so it did not show on the front.  I think the corner on the back will disguise that the extra lines of thread were added when the final border was added.  Will make it more symmetrical.

Here is the front.  The extra stitching doesn't show.   
In this case I knew I had borders to add, but I think this technique could be used to enlarge a quilt when there is extra batting showing at the sides.

Now the piece is ready for the binding.

I named this post Part 2, but there have been many starts with this project.  I'm glad to be closer to finishing it up!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WIP: Quilts for Kids Square Quilt

I've blogged about this project before, for such a little project it has gone thru several changes in it's creation.  First it looked sort of like the Nazi symbol, then was redone to be this square.  But it had so many ripples that it was taken apart again and partly sewn back together.  I left the final border off and will add that after the quilting is done...

I did Angie's wavy lines on the larger center square, then went back to cross over them.

Then on the outer triangles I made a design with different types of waves to fill that area in.

I'm really liking the way the wavy lines poof up, and sort of go with the design of the piece too.

In class tomorrow I'm going to ask someone to show me the proper way to tie the threads off.  I've been using the Clover cheater needle that Leah Day recommends, and added a knot after rewatching her video, but the teacher at the class I attend showed a way to pull up a loop so the two threads end at the same place so that would save a lot of time from what I've been doing.

As soon as I finished the initial lines I put it down for a photo and Buffy appeared from thin air and sat right in the middle of the quilt, so I had to take her picture!

Yesterday I took her to Petsmart and they trimmed her nails, brushed her teeth, and cleaned her ears.  Her teeth were so bright afterwards!  I wish they would show me how to brush her teeth but actually they hid her away from me while they did that and the ears.  I'll have to learn from videos posted on the web.  I think it's better to have someone else trim her nails though, it was always stressful when I groomed our cat's nails.  They had a good set up for doing the nails in the front part of the grooming area, and did give me a coupon when I asked if they had any, so I got 15% off the food!  But I'd rather have a set up where I can at least see Buffy all the time whenever she is being groomed.

Buffy is at the far table.
I gave her a bath when we got back, her conditioner makes her hair so soft!

I'm going to look into videos for training dogs too.  She sometimes will run to grab a ball, but doesn't know what to do with it really after that.  It would be fun for her and for me if she would bring the ball to me so I could toss it again for her to retrieve.

RSC17: February - Aqua

Pulled out my aqua fabric.  I have some nice yards and half yards waiting for another project, but I did have some aqua scraps from either previous projects, or people had gifted me with them....

So I sewed some together for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!

I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with these, but will decide on something at the end of the challenge.

The other folks in the challenge have some beautiful projects they are working on - hope you will click to go see them!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Finish #3 Charity Quilt - Frogs and Wavy Lines with Cool Binding

I finished the quilting on the last charity quilt that I put the bindings on before quilting.  I followed what Angie does for charity quilts and finished with utilitarian wavy lines.  First I put waves in the rust sashings, then I added a rectangle around the outer blocks, and then added a line in the two middle blocks.  This is a nice way to finish the charity quilt.

I really like the faux piping with the little black and white lines and will be looking for more fabric so I can add that to other projects!

Here you can see the cool binding finish!

And here Buffy jumped on the quilt when I brought it downstairs to tie off and bury the threads.  She is such a good helper!
I've been using charity quilts to practice and learn, and I sure have a lot more to master, but I really like Angie's tip to stick with utilitarian stitching at least sometimes so I can finish and move on!.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Surprise: A Quilting Reader's Garden Fat Quarter

I returned from my monthly quilting group session and checked my email and found I had been picked to get a fat quarter from A Quilting Reader's Garden.

How fun is that?  I think yellow or white would be a good color to insert in a project...

Thank you Angie!


At quilt group I actually brought in a sewing machine that I hadn't used in a long time, and for another surprise it works perfectly!  I guess I stopped using it when I got the new 1/4 inch foot for the new Brother that I have at home.

So I had brought a bunch of assorted charms that I had either won in drawings, cut myself with rotary or with a Studio Go.  So I got organized and started sewing them up into 4 patches.  One of the ladies showed me how to get the center of the patches so a mini-4 patch appears on the back, but I wasn't successful with getting that to work for me for all the patches.  She said it would help reduce the number of thicknesses of the fabric when I was quilting the project.

And I got distracted so I wasn't consistent with how I put together the blocks.  Oh well.

I put them on the living room floor to take a photo and Buffy returned from her walk and I forgot what I was doing so you don't see them all in this photo...  But you can see her tail is wagging!

Except for two of the 4 patches, they each have the same fabric in the lower right of the block.

: )

Finish #2 2017 - Charity Quilt

Boy, it's really difficult to show the FMQing on this project!  

It's a variation of an orange peel design.  I started by making the loops on the diagonal starting with the little yellow squares, then the little black ones, then continued to the larger flower blocks - then back again.  Then in the other direction it was green, green and larger flower block and back again.  It made a pretty design on the top.

I went along the inner purple border and went into the border when I hit the tip of quilting described and then made a little circle. I also made a circle in the corners of the purple border.  

On the outside of the purple border I went along and only popped out at the corners.  In the green I made one loop that sort of looks like the design in the inside.  On the rust I made three loops.  I'm not sure why I did this but I did.

You can see the faux flange on the binding.  A lady in the group is a long arm quilter she makes a flat faux flange so she can quilt as usual on her long arm by cutting a strip 1 inch, sewing it on at 1/2 inch seam then continuing on with what ever she is putting on (in her case where she was showing me she was adding the faux flange between two borders that were close in the same color).  Anyway that is a way to get the flange effect and be able to have quilted on a long arm!

This was turned into the quilting group for that lady to donate...

I also turned in the 9 patch quilt as you go project!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


I'm been making more grapefruit marmalade.

Packed some up and sent to friends and relatives back east along with a package of Alternative Bagels.  (I'm lucky I can pick these up at a sort of local store.)

I keep charts of how much fruit I put in the pressure cooker, how long it cooks.  Reminders to get the next set of supplies in order.  Weigh and put in sugar, and little package of the recovered grapefruit seeds.  Have ended up cooking at low saute for 30 minutes, then about 10 minutes of medium saute and then end up with 10 minutes of high.  The original recipe was for 2 pounds of fruit and only 7 minutes of high saute, I've ended up with 5 pounds of fruit and the additional cooking mentioned above.  Each time something seems to change.

I taste the mixture after the 30 minutes and need to add sugar.  Sometimes.

I always need to stir at high, sometimes and medium, and sometimes even at low saute.

The color of the marmalade is now usually golden, but when we have tasted the darker versions seems the taste is the same. ???  Have made 18 batches of marmalade!

My addition of cutting old wash cloths in thirds so I can wrap each bottle as it goes in the water has really helped with preventing the jars from hitting each other, and make it easier to insert, and remover from the water.  They make easy the final cleaning of the lip of the jar too.


There are still more fruit to process!  I have a 5 gallon bucket in the frig and there are more fruit on the tree not ready to pick.


Was so concentrating on marmalade that I forgot that one could just juice it.  So today I used the citrus juicer my mom left me to make morning juice, then I removed the rest of the fruit and some of the white and cut 1/4 inch strips.

Have been boiling that.  The recipe I found suggested boiling and changing the water three times.  Then to add sugar and boil - then to lay out the strips and let it all dry.  I think sprinkling some sugar on the top.  Then we will have sugared grapefruit skins.  If needed I'll dip in the dark chocolate for different taste!

After one boiling...

Watched a film on Netflix: Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  Looks like at least part of it is posted on the web.  Our son was watching me make the marmalade and said I was like Jiro - always thinking of new ways to process things and to make them better.  I guess it's the same with quilting - always testing and thinking of new ways to piece, baste, bind and quilt!

After second boiling.
After third boiling, I weighed the peels.  Added five cups of water and four cups of sugar and simmered for 90 minutes.

Then I removed from the syrup and rolled in sugar before putting on drying rack.  This is my first time using the dehydrator machine.  We also cut some grapefruit rounds and put them on and have one tray of grapefruit bites (no peel, or sugar, just fruit).  Just tasted the candied peels - delicious and warm.  Wonder how they will be after a full night of dry heat?  It feels so frugal to use all of the fruit!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Finish #1 2017 - Third Binding Done - on previously quilted charity project

I'm sort of on a roll.  We'll see how long this lasts!

I finally finished up a charity quilt that I had put together with charity fabric.  I quilted each block as I finished it, and then joined with strips. I think I got the QAYG strip directions from Leah Day's site.

I did find a good video Leah Day posted for Applying Binding by Machine:

I like the way the FMQing shows on the plain fabrics.

I applied the binding first to the back, then did the stitching on the front.  I really worked at lining the binding up so there is pretty even line of stitching that shows on the back side.  If you look closely, you can see where I patched a bit of the joining strip so the batting would not peek thru.  I hadn't noticed the batting until doing the binding...

I'm posting this photo to show that the two fabrics are facing each other and the tails are to the right!  It's difficult to see since I unhelpfully had a solid fabric at the end of the scrap binding that I made for the project....

I participated in another political event yesterday.  I'm not sure what to call it really.  We met outside the offices of Senator Feinstein and Senator Harris.  We are all figuring out how to do this.

I liked the way this lady had her signs set up so she didn't have to hold them up for the two hours.  Really can only read the front side from a car, but the back was important to consider too.

People were adding notes to their signs that they were not paid protestors.
This dog had a tag on that said he was not paid too!
I don't think everything should be protested, but I am concerned when I hear plain lies being represented as facts or when people are being recommended for positions who either do not have experience, or appear to have such self-interests for profit or gain instead of looking at the needs of people who are not like them.

It was about a mile between the two offices, a beautiful walk thru downtown San Diego.  I took a few photos showing old and new buildings.  I bet some one is going to knock the older things down to make room for more shiny new buildings.  Since I don't own them I don't have a say, but I do like older buildings...